Ganoderma lucidum, a white rot basidiomycete widely distributed worldwide, was studied for the production of the lignin-modifying enzymes laccase, manganese-dependent peroxidase (MnP), and lignin peroxidase (LiP). Laccase levels observed in high-nitrogen (HN; 24 mM N) shaken cultures were much greater than those seen in low-nitrogen (2.4 mM N), malt extract, or wood-grown cultures and those reported for most other white rot fungi to date. Laccase production was readily seen in cultures grown with pine or poplar (100-mesh-size ground wood) as the sole carbon and energy source. Cultures containing both pine and poplar showed 5- to 10-fold-higher levels of laccase than cultures containing pine or poplar alone. Since syringyl units are structural components important in poplar lignin and other hardwoods but much less so in pine lignin and other softwoods, pine cultures were supplemented with syringic acid, and this resulted in laccase levels comparable to those seen in pine-plus-poplar cultures. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of concentrated extracellular culture fluid from HN cultures showed two laccase activity bands (M(r) of 40,000 and 66, 000), whereas isoelectric focusing revealed five major laccase activity bands with estimated pIs of 3.0, 4.25, 4.5, 4.8, and 5.1. Low levels of MnP activity ( approximately 100 U/liter) were detected in poplar-grown cultures but not in cultures grown with pine, with pine plus syringic acid, or in HN medium. No LiP activity was seen in any of the media tested; however, probing the genomic DNA with the LiP cDNA (CLG4) from the white rot fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium showed distinct hybridization bands suggesting the presence of lip-like sequences in G. lucidum.